Thursday, February 25, 2016

Experimenter (2015)

No matter how benign the intent might be, all cinema is a social experiment. It has been produced for a specific purpose. Writers, directors, producers, etc. have deliberately designed it to make the audience feel happy, sad, etc. If the viewer becomes aware of the construction, the experiment has failed. Suddenly you are aware of what you are being fed. You are no longer under their emotional sway and can really examine/digest what you are being shown. You can decide whether you agree or disagree with what the filmmakers are presenting you. In the film Stanley Milgram states, “I believe we are puppets with perception, with awareness. Sometimes we can see the strings. And perhaps our awareness is the first step in our liberation.” Michael Almereyda’s decision to stage this film in such a deliberately artificial way is perfectly in keeping with Milgram’s mission. Since the filmmakers cannot interview us about our experience after the fact, we are instead able to interview ourselves from start to finish.

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